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A new wrinkle in my treatment

Hi Everyone,

       I hope this piece finds you well and continuing to fight the good fight.

       Recently my scans showed that the tumor on the surface of my liver had grown, so my Oncologist consulted with a Radiologist Oncologist to see if radiation might be an option. He felt that it would be, giving me a course of 5 treatments, so off to radiation I went. I have never had radiation before, so I was not sure of what to expect.

        I started out with a consult with the doctor, who was very thorough, who clearly explained everything in a supportive manner, and who felt that there was a 95% chance the radiation could destroy my tumor. Needless to say, I was very encouraged.

        My first visit was a prep one, where they made a mold of my body with the cushion they would use when I was on the table. They also placed markers (tattoos) around the tumor. 

        My second visit was a simulation, where they test out the radiation treatment. I did not actually get any radiation during this, it was a time for them to run through everything, and make sure all was ready and in place for when I started.

        Next was my first actual treatment. I lay still, with my arms over my head, and a series of machines rotated around me. Totally painless. Not frightening. It took about half an hour. The next four treatments would be similar.

        After I was finished with my course, I met with the doctor again, who was pleased with how everything went. The scans would tell us more.

        I did have issues with side effects. Severe nausea, intense exhaustion, and bouts of diarrhea. Meds helped with the nausea and diarrhea. I rested as much as possible to help the tiredness. The nausea and diarrhea have lessened, the exhaustion continues. The radiation remains in my body for 6 weeks, doing its job. Then I will have a scan to see if the radiation helped. If I need more radiation, I have that option.

         I am hoping for positive results, and am so glad I had the chance to have radiation. I had always been a bit afraid of it, but after my experience, am here to say it is very doable, even with the side effects, and is such an avenue to pursue if you are offered it. Another tool in the toolbox!

‘Til Next Time,

MJ Keenan